Improbable Island Message of the Day (MoTD)

New(ish) Monthly Memento, new Outpost graphics, US healthcare system collapse, performance improvements, mental health, pace of development slowly improves, time & weather updates, EDIT: mobile update
Staff2022-01-14 22:16:52 [Permalink]
Hey folks, January's Monthly Memento is the Shiny New Calendar as usual; it gives you an extra game day per real-world week.

Now that things have calmed down a bit RL-wise, I've had some time to continue with our lovely new background graphics! Outposts now have slightly less claustrophobic background graphics, and I had a lot of fun making variants for the different times of day and weather conditions. I think these give a lovely sense of time and place without being overwhelming, and I plan to give the other skins the same treatment. You can expect some more variants over the next week or two.

I also made some changes to the way moduleprefs are loaded and cached, which has caused a minor speed improvement to the site in general - but the big difference is in Midnight Black operations, which haven't timed out since I made the change a couple of weeks ago.

The hospital system in many parts of the USA is collapsing under the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and emergency healthcare may be unavailable. We all have to reevaluate the risks we take, because if we get hurt in the next few weeks (hopefully things will have improved by the spring; I'm an optimist!), there's an increasing chance that we'll just stay hurt. I'm dealing with this new situation on the woodworking side by putting the blade guard back on my table saw, building a better table and hold-downs for my drill press, and fucking the palm router off entirely until things calm down a bit. On the arcade repair side, I'm not transporting any pinball machines heavier than a Williams System 6, and eschewing monitor repair entirely. I'm not driving except where absolutely necessary; when I can't avoid it, I'm dropping my speed and increasing my distance from the car in front of me. My gutters are remaining filthy and my staircase handrails are tightened. I encourage you to find the places in your life where you can afford to take another few minutes or even seconds to be a bit safer, and use that time thoughtfully - at least until the hospitals aren't overloaded anymore, at which point you can feel free to go back to juggling rabid skunks or playing poke-the-gator or whatever it is you get up to. I won't judge.

You might've noticed me around a little bit more lately. The situation that was eating up all my time from September to December has ended, and I have a bit more time to sort out... well, all the things I should've been sorting out over the past three months, plus getting back to more programming/writing/community engagement with the Island. I've had a bout of less-than-stellar mental health since late December so it's taking me some time to switch gears back into Island mode - whether it's the everyday variety of depression or anxiety or a reaction to the collective trauma we've been through the past couple of years, I don't know. Either way, I'm finding it a challenge to hold complex systems in my head, as is necessary for the sort of large-scale gameplay improvements I was planning last year. I plan to ease back into Island development gradually by working on smaller, more self-contained updates like the ones I detailed in this MotD, and aesthetic and interface improvements to the desktop and mobile skins, before I get back to big ambitious projects. I appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Have fun!

~CMJ

Edit 2022-01-14: Mobile Beta is now available to choose as a display skin in your Preferences; it is currently janky as hell and only sort-of working, but I figured I'd show you so you can see how the sausage is made. This has also caused some cache misses on desktop skins too, so if you see a Vast White Expanse, please hit CTRL-F5 or empty your browser's cache.
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